Seahunt, Steve, et al...Please take this in the spirit it was intended

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Posted by msblucow on December 14, 2002 at 15:17:13:

In Reply to: "But I don't want the otters back" Seahunt posted by Steve on December 11, 2002 at 12:02:38:

The lack of common sense and ignorance displayed here is just breathtaking. Seahunt especially....this is the same old song you've been singing since I found this board three years ago. Do you learn nothing? Sigh....let's try this again....

First a little history.....before Europeans showed up, sea otters occupied a territory that stretched the Pacific coast from Alaska to Baja. Presumably there was enough shellfish for the otters, humans, sheephead, octopus and other hunters to live off of. Then the sea otters were hunted to near extinction and the shellfish population exploded - most notably abalone and sea urchins. Then, surprise, surprise the descendents of European settlers discovered the commercial potential of abalone (and much, much later, sea urchins) and proceeded to harvest them to oblivion. Then finally, the citizens of California woke up to the fact that the few otters and abalone left needed protecting so a number of laws were enacted to protect both. But in the mean time the population along the Pacific Coast exploded bringing with it nearly uncontrolled coastal developement, air and water pollution, and overfishing - both commerical and recreational.

So here we are now. Blaming about 2,300 sea otters for the decline of Western Civilization as we know it. Gee I guess the 30 million people living in California, most within 10 miles of the ocean have NOTHING to do with it. I guess it's the sea otters, with their fantastically high metabolisms, that have extracted millions of tons of shellfish from coastal waters for the last 30 years or so. Yeah, that's it! Get rid of those cute little water rats and they'll be plenty left over for the rest of us!

Oh man, my idea for a Norplant dartgun is starting to look better and better every day......

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